Vol.07 Suffering is not worthy of praise but needs to be remembered.

2024.02.27 Issue 7#


Dear Bodhisattvas, Zhanxin Jia!

You are reading the 7th issue (71st issue in total) of the electronic newspaper "Yi Wei Ke Hang" in 2024. The cover image of this issue was generated by Dall-E 3, with the prompt "In the background of Morandi-colored lines, there is a white dove flying".

The following is the main content of this issue, with a reading time of about 9 minutes.

1. The Behind-the-Scenes of News#

In this fast-paced era, venting personal emotions is always easy, but what happens after venting? For example, a few days ago, the romantic relationship between a female teacher in Shanghai and a 16-year-old high school student was exposed. The information on the internet is true and false, seemingly providing emotional value for the good-hearted, but few people pay attention to the behind-the-scenes of this matter and what kind of social reality it reflects.

As I mentioned in the article "The Most Difficult to Communicate with Those Who Have Been Indoctrinated with Standard Answers", through this incident, what we should pay more attention to is the long-term absence of legal protection for underage males, and the equal rights of underage males and females should be implemented as soon as possible from a legal perspective.

There have been several other hot news recently, which are not convenient to discuss in detail.

People are more willing to focus on the appearance of news rather than delve into the social reality behind it. This phenomenon is the result of multiple factors, including the reporting methods of the media, the influence of social media on the perception of reality, the reconstruction of social reality by the media, and the imitation and distortion of reality by television.

Firstly, the reporting methods of the media itself tend to emphasize surface phenomena rather than delve into the complexity and diversity behind the news. This reporting method changes people's perception, and perception often becomes reality. In addition, the rise of social media has also changed our perception of reality. What people show on these platforms is often carefully selected and edited beautiful images. This construction of a virtual world makes it easier for people to overlook the complexity and challenges of real life.

The impact of social media on people's self-image should not be ignored either. Research has shown that social media is filled with highly edited beautiful images, which may make people dissatisfied with their own bodies and affect their mental health. The pursuit and display of these ideal images, while to some extent can enhance personal satisfaction, may also lead to self-objectification, that is, excessive focus on one's appearance at the expense of inner qualities and abilities.

The reconstruction of social reality by the media is also an important factor. The media has the ability to shape public perception, and people learn about the world through the media and make social, political, and economic decisions. In this process, the information provided by the media is often asymmetrical, which means that the media may selectively report news based on their own interests and biases, thereby influencing people's understanding of social reality.

Television, as a traditional media, also has problems in its presentation of reality. Television programs often imitate reality, but this imitation can only achieve the replication of the reality expected by the producers, rather than a true reflection. Television not only reflects existing problems in society, but may also distort social reality through its program content.

From an individual perspective, people are more willing to focus on the appearance of news rather than delve into the social reality behind it, which may be due to the following reasons:

  1. Cognitive bias: People tend to seek information that confirms their existing views and ignore or reject information that contradicts them. This cognitive bias makes it easier for people to accept superficial news reports and not willing or accustomed to delve into the complexity and diversity behind the news.

  2. Information overload: In the era of information explosion, people are exposed to a large amount of news and information every day, making it difficult to analyze and think deeply about each piece of news. Therefore, people may tend to quickly browse news headlines or brief content rather than delve into them.

  3. Limited time and energy: Delving into the social reality behind the news requires a lot of time and energy, but modern people are often busy with work and life, and may not have enough time and energy to delve into the truth behind every piece of news.

  4. Media presentation: When reporting news, the media may focus more on attracting attention and increasing click-through rates, so they may use more dramatic, simplified, or one-sided ways to present news, which also affects people's reception and understanding of news.

  5. Comfort zone: Delving into the social reality behind the news may challenge people's worldview and values, making them feel uncomfortable. In order to maintain psychological comfort, people may choose to focus only on surface information.

  6. Education and training: If people have not received relevant education and training, they may lack the ability to analyze and think critically, which also affects their deep understanding of the social reality behind the news.

2. Suffering is not worthy of praise but needs to be remembered#

During the Chinese New Year this year, it was a big reunion with relatives and friends after three years of the pandemic. Taking advantage of the good spirits of the elderly, I asked them three questions:

  1. When did you start eating enough and not going hungry?

  2. When did your family start having household appliances such as televisions and refrigerators?

  3. Did anyone starve to death in your family from 1959 to 1961, and how did you all survive?

When my relatives and friends heard my questions, they fell silent. I could feel that they were reminiscing, and it wasn't because I had made the atmosphere awkward. Soon, they gave me their answers.

For example, my father said that he didn't feel full every day until the mid-1980s; a certain ancestor said that they never went hungry before liberation and after the 1980s; my uncle said that he didn't start working until the early 1980s and could eat in the cafeteria at work, so he didn't feel hungry...

For example, my uncle recalled that they watched the Spring Festival Gala at home in 1983, and before that, they had to go to the television room of a state-owned factory to watch TV. My aunt, uncle, and mother briefly exchanged memories and said that in 1984, my uncle bought a TV and brought it back to my grandfather's house every Spring Festival for the whole family to watch together.

I won't mention the answer to the third question here.

Relatives and friends generally believe that it wasn't until the mid-1980s that life began to get better little by little, and they began to have hope for the future. It wasn't until a few years ago that they suddenly realized that it seemed that they didn't have as much hope as before, and they didn't know if it was because they were getting older.

From the mid-1980s to the present is just over forty years. And the good days they mentioned were just about being able to eat enough and dress warmly.

At the end of the gathering, the adults asked me why I wanted to know these things. After thinking for a moment, I said, "Suffering is not worthy of praise, but it needs to be remembered. I am from a generation that has not experienced suffering, growing up in a honey jar and a greenhouse. I should have some understanding of what you have experienced." My uncle held my hand and said, "We don't want you to go through those days again."

3. Rationalization#

I saw a quote:

Humans are not rational, we are rationalizing. Once you understand this simple fact, all the oddest human behavior will suddenly make way more sense.


The phenomenon of rationalization is widespread in human society. Sometimes it can be seen as an adaptive strategy to help people protect themselves from the harm of unsafe emotions and motivations. However, continuous self-deception, that is, constantly finding excuses for destructive behavior, can become dangerous. This is because the process of human rationalization usually involves two steps: first, making decisions or taking actions, and then constructing seemingly reasonable justifications for these actions afterwards.

Although rationalization can find seemingly reasonable explanations for illogical or unacceptable behaviors, motivations, or emotions, it also prevents individuals from learning from mistakes and reduces awareness of the consequences of their actions.

4. Night Sailing Ship#


  • Revolutions Take Generations discusses the long-term nature of revolutionary change and the importance of intergenerational transmission. The article points out that the idea propagated by early modern patriots that revolution can completely change the world overnight is a dangerous illusion. On the contrary, the process of revolution is slow and requires several generations to achieve profound social change. The dissatisfaction expressed by revolutionaries in the 18th century with the fixed social hierarchy at birth is strikingly similar to the current situation of intensified social and economic inequality. The article emphasizes the importance of understanding the intergenerational rhythm of revolution for providing useful insights and corrective measures in the present. It calls for a rethinking of what revolution can accomplish and the expectations for future revolutions, recognizing that certain changes may take a generation or even multiple generations to achieve. This long-term perspective helps to avoid disappointment and despair caused by excessive expectations, and also foreshadows a hopeful yet bittersweet future for today's radical politics.

  • Which Films Were Underappreciated in Their Time? A Statistical Analysis explores some films that were underrated when they were initially released but later received higher ratings on IMDB, Letterboxd, and streaming platforms. The article conducts a more extensive sampling analysis by dividing films into two categories: 20th century and 21st century. For example, "Fight Club" is a film that was not given enough attention when it was released in theaters but was later rediscovered and received higher ratings. The article also discusses how to quantify the degree of underestimation of films, pointing out that the number of theater audiences for a film is easily influenced by marketing effects, and if a film is wrongly positioned in the market, it is easy to be overlooked.

  • A good free course was found that provides a chronological understanding of the history of Buddhism, going back to the original source. The developer of Jixin also added one as a supplement.


5. Living Elsewhere#

  • A blog post has been updated with an article "The Most Difficult to Communicate with Those Who Have Been Indoctrinated with Standard Answers".

  • The paid column has been updated with the 9th issue of "CETDE Weekly Report", which includes:

    • Google's open-source large language model Gemma, the evaluation of the new version of Gemini, and an introduction to Gemini 1.5 Pro.

    • Yin-yang thinking and insights into real life.

    • Reading notes on the Wood Wide Web.

  • If you would like to support me, please consider subscribing to my paid column. Thank you. The column has launched a partner program, and inviting friends to subscribe will earn you 10% of the revenue.

  • This issue of the electronic newspaper was written and completed using Heptabase. It is a visual knowledge management tool that focuses on helping users better learn, think, research, and plan in order to establish a deep understanding of the information and knowledge they consume.


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Best regards,

Suixi at the right time.

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